Historians claimed they had not seen "patriotism used with such cynical force" since the fifties. It was "disturbing," historians and political analysts said, for Bush to manipulate symbols to "raise doubts about the Democratic nominee's patriotism."(10) Historian William Leuchtenburger, at the University of North Carolina, said, "I don't recall anything like this before. I don't think there has been an issue like this -- an issue so irrelevant to the powers of the presidency."(11) Washington Post columnist Mary McGrory complained about the "McCarthyesque form" to Bush's language: "The subliminal message in all the nastiness and bad taste is that Dukakis is somehow un-American: doesn't salute the flag or dig defense."(12) The New York Times denounced Bush for "wrapping himself in the flag." Through his "masterly use of the subliminal" Bush had used "political code." The code was "pledge plus flag plus strong defense equals patriotism."(13) (Evidently true patriotism consists of hatred of flag plus hatred of Pledge plus weakness on national defense.) Not going for subtlety, this was under the headline "Playing Rough; Campaign Takes a Turn onto the Low Road."
A frenzy of "McCarthyism" arose again in Bush's next presidential campaign against noted patriot Bill Clinton. While a Rhodes scholar, Clinton joined anti-war protests abroad. One year after the USSR crushed Czechoslovakia, Clinton had taken what the media called a "sightseeing trip to Moscow." For mentioning Clinton's anti-war protests abroad, Bush was called a nut and a McCarthyite. Clinton campaign aide George Stephanopoulos said Bush was "off the wall, lost his compass."(14) Clinton's running mate, Al Gore, accused Bush of "smear tactics, McCarthyite techniques."(15) Meanwhile, CNN's Robert Novak defended McCarthy, saying, "Joe didn't do any innuendo, Joe would have said the guy is a Communist."(16)
"McCarthyism" means pointing out positions taken by liberals that are unpopular with the American people. As former president Bush said, "Liberals do not like me talking about liberals."(17) The reason they sob about the dark night of fascism under McCarthy is to prevent Americans from ever noticing that liberals consistently attack their own country.
Liberals unreservedly call all conservatives fascists, racists, and enemies of civil liberties with no facts whatsoever. Reviewing the movie 8 Mile in The New Yorker, David Denby praised the interracial friendships portrayed in the movie and then said, "Perhaps the specter of such friendships is what right-wingers actually hate most." Conservatives are prohibited from citing actual facts that reflect poorly on a Democrat's patriotism, but liberals regularly fire off shots like that from their little movie reviews.(18)